Sometimes, I feel the need for ear plugs, or maybe blue light glasses, whatever can shield me from the noise!
When I say “noise,” I am referring to the overflowing information that is communicated via social media, publications, and even the people we surround ourselves with. As much as we love our friends and family, diet culture is often a topic, especially at parties or meals. So many comments about the food and the extra hours of cardio planned for the next day to burn it off!
The abundance of opinions, fads, and other elements of diet culture can be highly detrimental to one's self-esteem. I know because I have dealt with the feelings and pain myself.
We want to love ourselves and it’s helpful to have some tools and tips to get us there.
I’ve asked people what having body confidence means to them. They said:
“To feel sexy on the beach”
“Glowing in a new dress”
“Strong after a tough workout”
“Comfortable in your skin at any size”
“I don’t feel the need to edit and filter my photo”
“Not comparing my body to others, we are all different and need to embrace that!”
Whatever body confidence means to you, it’s not always easy to feel, but here are some tips to work on improving it:
There is a plethora of information you can find on Google or in print, and it’s important to be familiar with the publications you turn to.
Knowing who is creditable in the fitness and nutrition world is critical as these publications’ and influencers’ advice can impact your health, and particularly your mental health. Just like “junk food” isn’t good for you, junk info isn’t good for you either. It’s important to enjoy your treats (you’ve got to live your life,) but learning the science of wellness is more beneficial than following certain influencers.
I’m all about this tip. While there are many forms of self-care, choosing the right one for you is what makes taking care of yourself enjoyable. Whether it’s eating nutritious and delicious foods, practicing moving your body in ways that make you FEEL good, engaging in a lazy day with a good book and no electronics, a full on spa day, going on a hike, shopping, or spending time with your friends, the list doesn’t end! Pick an activity you enjoy and treat yourself, you deserve it.
If you want to change something in your life, the first step is acknowledging and accepting the reality of the situation, the place you’re currently in. Then, you will be able to work on moving forward. Growth is a rewarding feeling, but it comes second to being honest with yourself. As a Positive Psychology Coach, I’ve learned about the Gestalt concept of the Paradox of Change: you can’t change until you accept where you are, you can’t move forward until you get a firm footing where you are now. I help people gain awareness, accept and move forward.
Do you have a morning routine?
Starting your day with a relaxing practice or routine sets the tone for the rest of your day. Picking up your phone and scrolling through Instagram right away is giving your energy to other people versus yourself; you need to prioritize you first. Taking a few moments to start your day with a clear and positive mindset can look like drinking lemon water and meditating, writing in your journal, or simply reading a passage of a book you enjoy.
Start small and create a new practice for yourself. Creating a new habit will become second nature before you know it.
Support; we all benefit from it. Having a support squad is essential, but you need to know how to build support.
Make sure you have the right people in your corner--maybe not all your friends and family will give the support you’re searching for, so know who does and have them on speed dial. Understanding when a professional (therapist, doctor, dietitian, or coach) is needed can help you through difficult times.
Are you aware of how you speak to yourself? Increase your awareness by listening and calling yourself out (or calling yourself in).
Make it a point to listen and hear what you’re saying and feel how it’s affecting you. Work on shutting down distorted statements (like “I was bad and let myself have dessert and cocktails last night”), switching up your vocabulary, and practicing how to use self talk in a way that motivates you to productive action.
When you skip a workout, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?
Now, what’s a statement that would help you move forward?
I ask the second question because I have a pretty good idea of your response to the first! You might not even realize the negative and self-doubting statements you’re telling yourself, but, when you change them, you will feel the difference. Start off by practicing affirmations to help improve your body image.
(For a few extra tips, check out 7 Ways To Be More Body Confident by Astrid Longhurst, the coach I received my Body Confidence certification from).
These six tips for building body confidence help when practiced. Confidence is a muscle, and just like any muscle, if you want to strengthen it you gotta work it out! Remember that we are in control of the information we choose to download, the people we engage with and the way we treat ourselves. Remember those 3 things and work on implementing the six tips, and you’ll be feeling like the fabulous person you are!
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Briana, founder of Breathing Wellness, is a holistic integrative certified Health Coach and holds certifications in Positive Psychology & Wellness and Body Confidence. She applies her education, life experiences, and passion to help her clients reach their personal wellness goals. Bri’s work is based on two key concepts: bio-individuality, and primary food theory. The first encapsulates the idea that everyone is unique and has different needs. The second concept focuses on how aspects of one's life —relationships, physical activity, spirituality and career nourishes or impedes our wellness. She then creates evidenced based offerings to develop customized programs that motivate her clients to achieve their desired results. Bri’s unique ability to to listen, inquire, motivate, support, and educate is a trait that can not be taught, but is a tremendous asset she uses to guide her clients through the process. Please contact Briana at [email protected] or visit her website at: www.brianaweisinger.com